Velasco, elected to his first term in 2016, said this week he left his job with the county on May 7. He had been a policy aide for Wasserman, specializing in land use issues in unincorporated areas.
“Right now there are a lot of things happening in Gilroy,” he said in an interview. “I want to have more flexibility to make sure things are happening.” He mentioned the First Street water project and economic development issues as deserving more of his attention.
As mayor, Velasco is paid $15,084 a year. Council members are paid annual salaries of $10,056; the full-time city administrator has an annual salary of $210,000.
“The voters expect me to focus all of my energy and attention on Gilroy, even if it is only a small monthly stipend,” he said.
“I always was trying to balance my council responsibilities with my work responsibilities,” he said. He said he would often need to use his county vacation time for city business. The mayor said that city residents should now find him more accessible.
He said that at the present, he has no plans to seek fulltime work.
Velasco joked that he is “happily unemployed,” adding that he has “a list of honey-do’s” he is working on at his northwest Gilroy home.
“Roland Velasco served the residents of District 1 as a Board Aide for over 20 years,” said Wassserman. “Roland’s expertise was invaluable to the office, as was his vast knowledge of the South County community. I wish him well.”